Skip to main content
3:00 pm
societies have to take responsibility for the high level of demand in their er, amongst their citizens. if you're a cocaine user, you can either, confront the fact, and acknowledge that the commodity you buy comes from a dirty trade and has real ramifications down the line, or you can say well, to your governments, give me a legitimate way to buy this substance. people will always take drugs. we just need to manage that phenomenon in a way that is the best for society.
3:01 pm
>> michael: this is "the war room." i'm michael shure. coming up tonight it turns out that the sequester cuts and republicans just don't mix all
3:02 pm
that well. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: we usually don't start this show with polling but a couple of new ones out there reveal a lot about the sequester. that's the pesky $85 billion in immediate mandatory cuts in a from agreed to by the white house and republicans to force a more reasonable way to get our finances in over. a pew research poll shows if no deal is reached, 49% of americans will blame congressional republicans. that is what they call painful. meanwhile, less than one-third said it will be the president's fault. naturally democrats smell blood. especially in the house. the congressional campaign committee is launching an online ad blitz targeting on hours
3:03 pm
republicans and they're relying on reporters to get their point across. >> the economists are warning that the sequester could lead to a recession. >> $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts. >> michael: over at the house problem called house speaker john boehner and top mitch mcconnell but no one will talk about what was discussed. we will a go to peter fenn, but first we want to give you a sense of the personal impact these cuts will have. the facility was supposed to upgrade the abraham lincoln aircraft carrier but that's on hold was the navy may not be able to pay for it. for more details of how the cuts will trickle down into the newport community we turn to
3:04 pm
michael shapiro who joins you via skype. welcome into the war room. >> hi, michael. >> reporter: how is it not called the newport news news, we'll get to that later. i'm sure you heard that before. now it the cuts in general, will people be out of work? >> it's still a little unclear. the cuts go through a number of repair yards who have already taken the step of issuing notices saying they'll have to layoff a lot of works. the the shipyard in newport news hired thousands of people to work on this aircraft project and that's in jeopardy. >> michael: who are the people in your community blaming for this? it hasn't happened yet. we'll put that in context but who are they going to be targeting with their blame? >> i hear a lot of frustration generally speaking with the political process.
3:05 pm
you know, the local politicians on either side of the aisle vehemently oppose sequestration i hear that a deal could be crafted at the last minute to stave this off. >> michael: you report on how important the ship-building industry is to newport news. can you paint a picture to the rest of the country who is not as familiar with it how important it is. >> the shipyard employees 22,000 people here at newport news. that makes it the largest employer in the city the largest manufacturer in the state. you can't overstate the company's importance to this community. >> michael: michael shapiro from new postnewport news press. thank you. it seems that every industry is
3:06 pm
mobilizing. the u.s. travel agency is saying long wait at airport security lines, around that may be the tip of the iceberg. in the words of the jeff free man, this could turn into a travel nightmare. and jeff free man joins us on the phone right now. he comes to us from washington tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> michael: thank you for taking the time. jeff what is your nightmare scenario with this sequester? >> i think most of our opinions here are not ours, frankly. they're formed by the government. the government is putting out the information that is "t" is predicting tsa wait times exceeding one hour. us custom wait times that could rise up to two to three hours furloughing air traffic control officials, which could lead to more delayed flights. air travel already in this country is not as efficient and commutercustomer-friendly as it needs
3:07 pm
to be and it could discourage people from traveling. >> michael: now your industry is an industry that lobbies all the time what is the difference now when you lobby congress. >> everybody has heard about it, but no one knows what it's going to be. they know it's about to touch the fence of perhaps some washington jobs, and they're not sure how it's going to affect them. people are learning how these cuts these indiscriminate cuts could hit them personally, and that's affecting what we're doing. we launched a new campaign to empower travelers text delay to 877877, and instantly they'll be able to share their opinions with washington. as we all know, washington has reacted. washington fixes things when
3:08 pm
they have to fix things, and i think it will take travelers and others demanding that we take a hard look at these cuts, and find a way to make smart cuts than rather across-the-board indiscriminate cuts. >> michael: g.geoff, thank you for coming in and sharing that with us. there are eight days to the deadline and we'll be watching that in "the war room"." today in the debate over guns vice president joe biden delivered a moving speech in connecticut. >> i can imagine how we will be judged as a society if we do nothing. i can imagine that. i can predict that. what will be written of us 20 and 30 years from now if we don't act. i think about all the courage you've shown, it's not too much
3:09 pm
to ask the political establishment of this country democrats and republicans state legislature governors to show political courage, too. >> michael: biden was speaking just ten minutes down the road from sandy hook elementary school. and in the 69 days since the killings at sandy hook, at least 2036 americans have died as a result of gun violence. that's according to an estimate in late magazine. that's 78 newtowns. that's 78 newtowns since newtown. daniel malloy outlined his five-point program. universal background checks and banning large capacity magazines. >> i'm proposing that we change the definition of an assault weapon to any semi auto that has at least one military characteristic and ban the sale of them in our state.
3:10 pm
[applause] >> michael: thankfully some politicians are answering biden's call for political courage. and finally now we move to the chuck hagel nomination. one week later chuck hagel's nomination to lead the defense department this are encouraging signs that he might get a vote after all. richard shelby said he's now supporting his colleague's nominations. it's not all good. texas senator john cornyn demanding to withdraw hagel's nomination. 15 others signed on that letter but not john mccain. it appears that headacheel will have the 60 votes to get past the filibuster and the 50 needed to be confirm: we're going head out to the political front where president obama's stock with the public continues to rise looming sequester cuts notwithstanding. and then a documentary that says, remember us? a hook at whose lives are still
3:11 pm
upside down because of the economic crisis. and later, 50 years after the birmingham church bombing we'll talk to the prosecutor whose life mission became bringing those responsible to justice. it's "the war room" on thursday night and we'll be right back. is is
3:12 pm
3:13 pm
3:14 pm
>> michael: we're back inside the car room. i'm michael shure. democrats and republicans keep checking their score cards. and from my seat it looks like the president and democrats are winning. according to a new bloomberg news poll out today 56% of americans view the president favorably. 47% feel the same about the democratic party. but here's my favorite. only 35% like republicans. americans also aren't going along with the blame game the g.o.p. has been playing by calling the potential automatic spending cuts obama's sequester. they don't even want to be associated with them. look at the new numbers from the pew research polishing only 22%
3:15 pm
of americans consider themselves republican. that is astonishingly low. will republicans finally give if to pressure for a budget deal or will they keep pointing figures. joining me to discuss the sequester political fallout is peter fenn. welcome to the war room. >> my pleasure, michael. >> michael: some of the republicans in these deep red districts think they're successfully protected from blame on this sequester. what are they smoking peter? >> i was going to say the same thing, michael what are they smoking? the fact is that the american people think that sequester is a new scrabble word. you know, all they know is that there is dysfunction here and that this dysfunction is heavily caused by the republicans. if you look at that pew poll,
3:16 pm
76% of the american people want a balanced approach precisely what the president is proposing. only 19% want an approach which is all-out cuts, which is what the republicans are proposing. so you have a situation right now where 4-1 the american people are with the president of the united states. he has the bully pulpit. he has people who are standing in three-hours lines when they go and take an airplane. they have 370,000 people kids and folks who need mental health help. he has defense folks who are going to get furloughed, and employees who think that they can take one day a week on these people and they won't feel it. you can't make your mortgage payment if you get a 20% pay cut. so it's going to be on the republicans, i think. >> michael: it seems that it can only be on the republicans. the republicans seem to think that making us wait in line whether to vote or it get on an
3:17 pm
airplane is some how a good way to run government. >> right. >> michael: peter, the president, when you talk about the president. yes, he answered sequester questions with local news tv channels, including baltimore's wjz. let's take a listen to what he had to say to them. >> obama: i do not know why it is in this town folks leave stuff to the last minute. there is no other profession, no other industry where people wait until the 11th hour to solve these big problems. it creates a lot of uncertainty in our economy. >> michael: i mean that's that bully pulpit you were just referring to. the only guy who seems in charge. >> right exactly. and can you imagine what would happen if harry reid had shut down the senate and gone away for nine days, and the republican president they would have gone ballistic. the american people right now
3:18 pm
want something done. they see this president's proposal as a good, strong compromise. compromise is not a four-letter word but to these republicans it is. all it is to the american people is game playing. when you have a president that's already cut these budgets and handles the deficit by 725 trillion-dollar when he has got a plan that takes us another $1.8 trillion which includes some revenue on the richest of americans, that makes sense to people. so you know, i just think if they're going it take--if they think that they're going to drive this issue into the 2014 elections, you know, they got another think coming. >> michael: i don't understand where they go for these 2014 elections. steve israel said democrats will
3:19 pm
have begun safety and minimum wage to run on in 2014. if you were a republican strategist knowing what we know about the sequester and knowing what we know about the out of town republicans and guns, what do they have to run on in 2014. >> i tell you what i would do if an i was a republican statist i would say look, stuff is going to get passed any way. get it done. get immigration down. get some form of gun control done and pore pete's sake come out with an agreement with the president, which stops this last-minute nonsense, and then stay on your basic economic message. stay on that we need more jobs. stay on that we should be trimming more. you know, get some specifics out there about where you trim. there aren't any specifics. they don't put anything out this for people. >> michael: stay on their basic economic message. they don't have one. they don't have a standard-bearer for it.
3:20 pm
they don't have anyone to say who it is. even mitt romney is coming out of the shadows now. he announced his first post-election speak that was announced with sea and if they want to appear more forward-thinking, isn't that the wrong venue. >> a lot of policies that you and i have been talking about that the president supported mitt romney supported them, too. is he going to go further right again or is he going to speak before see pac and give them tough medicine? it's a hard one. michael, the biggest problem that i've seen in this town since i first came here and worked in the united states senate is that the republican party has been taken over by extremists, and the more they're taken over by the extremists, the more 15 guys sign the letter to the president telling him to withdraw the nomination of chuck hagel, they all look like
3:21 pm
they're out of step, like they don't get it. >> michael: here's hoping that they never do. here is political strategist peter fenn. thank you for your time. the president has not had a smooth road with his cabinet pick so far. and violence and tragedy in few episodes were as tragic as the birmingham burch bombing. that story is just ahead right here in the war room. for true stories. with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines. real, gripping, current. documentaries... on current tv.
3:22 pm
3:23 pm
surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
3:24 pm
[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: as president obama fills his cabinet some of his picks are coming under fire from
3:25 pm
the right. but other nominees are getting criticism from the left because of their ties to business big. jack lew is a former banker for citigroup which loss big during the housing crisis. he still received a hefty bonus even when citigroup got a big fat heavy bail out. then mary jo white. she knows wall street very well as a lawyer one of new york's top firms her client included some of the financial industries biggest players j.p. morgan chase, former bank america chief ken lewis. her appointment might indict the white house's crackdown on wall street and hiring the savviest lawyers to do it. but her appointment could post problems in prosecuting those very firms because they are relationship to wall street
3:26 pm
could present a conflict of try. and sylvia burwell president of the walmart foundation the company's philanthropic like. and the president is set to name her. but some say she shoes not be considered because the foundation she heads is just a public relations ploy by walmart in light of the damaging reports of its labor practices. for more i'm joins with lee great to have you back in the war room, as always. let's start out, is burwell going to get this nomination? >> that's not clear but all the major news outlets have made clear she's in the top of the list, so it looks very likely. >> michael: let's say she gets it. what does they do? tell us a little bit about the walmart foundation and what her
3:27 pm
role is this? >> well, mart is very well-known for pioneering union busting strategies cost-cutting measures. but they're less well-known for another field they've pioneered. that's charitable outreach in the form of lobbying and reputation building. they use that foundation in a very precise way to not only isolate activists but to co-op their opponents and opening new stores passing legislation and blocking legislation that they don't like. >> michael: let's not be--if we for a moment not be skeptical about it, there is a tremendous amount of wealth made by walmart. they have a foundation. it is a philanthropic foundation, whatever other means it has it gives money away. are we going too far by criticizing it? >> well, sylvia matthews burwell when she was hired walmart said she reports to lessee dock.
3:28 pm
he let the way for walmart in fighting a big labor battle. in 2010 she gave a presentation to investors and said look at all these great charitable donations we've given and its increased our reputation. we defeated the employee free choice act which is a key labor reform which president obama promised on the campaign trail in 2008. they took that off the table in part of the because influence situation that this is a cog in that machine. >> michael: do you think people are laughing that there is a chance that one of them could be nominated to such a post in the obama administration? saying yes it worked. >> looking at her resumé she's very well-qualified, and one would hope if she enters obama's
3:29 pm
cabinet that she'll serve the public and not walmart. we've seen corporate operatives going in and serve but serving their former corporation and taking a salary from their former firm. >> michael: who would be a perfect pick for something like this position? is there no one out there who would make the progressives happy and be great at this job? >> that's a question that goes beyond my pay. >> michael: we know geithner. he knows the banks. he served on the board. jack lew, it's always going to be someone who is involved in number. here is someone who is at the managing a tremendous amount of money in arkansas with the walmart foundation, is she not perfect for the job? apparently not. does she have conflict of interest as well? >> that's the kind of questions
3:30 pm
we were asking the white house. white house wouldn't comment. walmart would not comment if there was going to be a con conflict of interest. they have the power to block or modify any regulation coming out of the federal government, including the labor organization where walmart is very concerned. >> michael: do we see the same push back as with the chuck hagel or is it smooth sailing. >> we've seen people upset with the burwell nomination but they don't have the political power as the neo-con, so i doubt it. >> michael: lee fang, thanks so much, from the nation. i watched it as last night. it made me azad as angry.
3:31 pm
>> he's working his butt off to try to find a job. >> i went through the whole phone book. not one of them said they were hiring. >> i hear them saying we skipped dinner because we need to feed our kids. >> working for minimum wage, they'll never achieve the american dream. >> forget the dreams. how do we make it to tomorrow. tomorrow is the dream. what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything. [ male announcer ] start with a groundbreaking car. good. then invent an entirely new way to buy one. no. no. no. yes! a website that works like a wedding registry. but for a car. first, you customize it. then let people sponsor the car's parts as gifts. dad sponsors the engine for your birthday. grandma sponsors the rims for graduation. the car gets funded. then you pick up your new dodge dart at the dealership. and all that's left to do is say thanks. easy. ♪ ♪
3:32 pm
save them. woolite everyday cleans your jeans and won't torture your tanks. woolite washed clothes look like new, longer. don't let it get to you. ♪ ♪ try mach3 sensitive, with three high-definition blades. a closer shave in a single stroke for less irritation, even on sensitive skin. ♪ ♪ get closer to the one you love. ♪ ♪ gillette mach3 sensitive. gillette. the best a man can get.
3:33 pm
[clucking]. everyone wants to be the cadbury bunny. cause only he brings delicious cadbury crème eggs, while others may keep trying. nobunny knows easter better than cadbury!
3:34 pm
>> they just cut our lick trick. >> we're sleeping under a bridge. >> yeah, that's cold. >> michael: nearly 50 million americans now live in poverty. that's the highest number in over a half century. and here's the truly mind boggling part of that, 10 million of them are actually working, but they still fall
3:35 pm
below the poverty line. they simple hi don't get paid enough to stay above it. the voices you heard asking for help, they are just some of it. it's a problem captured in a harrowing hbo film "american winter." it follows the lives of families in portland, oregon. >> in the middle class in this country, we have an one-strike and you're out economy. the system that was once in place to cushion those crises have been frayed. the most endangered species in america is the middle class family. >> michael: the president without it to issue in his state of the union speech when he asked to raise minimum wage. the filmmaker of this a amazing film, joe gantz welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you michael.
3:36 pm
>> michael: what made you make this film? what did you see that said, i have to record this now? >> well, a lot of attention was given in books and films to what happened to wall street, what happened to the financial institutions, but we felt that which wanted to look at what was happening to families across the country. this is the greatest down turn in 80 years and so many people lost their houses, lost their jobs, and we wanted to show how this was affecting american families across the country. >> michael: you say this all takes place in portland, but what struck me about it is you could close your eyes and point on the map of the united states, and you could have done the exact same thing in just about every city in the country. a lot of families you spoke with are having a hard time coming to terms with their situation. i want to show you brandon and pam, one of the couples that joe interviews. >> i never thought getting help from the state. >> i never thought i would ever
3:37 pm
do that. i would never did that. >> i never put that in my head. >> michael: so joe was this reaction common? >> well, most of these families were comfortable years ago. they had middle class lives. they were working. they worked since they were teenagers. they never had a problem getting a job, and suddenly they're struggling to pay their electric bill their heating. they're facing possible eviction. some of them are having trouble feeding their families. the stress they're under is just overwhelming to watch. what it's like to suddenly worry if you can feed your family, and then trying to go to bed at night not knowing what you're going to do in the morning. >> michael: you know it's interesting. i found one of the most jarring parts about watching your film was i had a pre-conceived notion of what poverty looked like in america, whether it's appalachia
3:38 pm
appalachia, roberts kennedy, mississippi, poor, no plumbing, no running water things like that. this is not what poverty looks like. i was surprised to see that so many of these people had homes and possessions, and she still qualify as working poor. did that surprise you the way it did me? >> it did. it really did. these folks are kind of every- every-day poverty. you'll find this in any city across the country. we listen to 211 info, and people called in a crisis, and we asked them at the end of the call if we could talk to them and follow their life for this film. if we had done this film--if we had interviewed--if we had listened on the phone a month later or two months later we would have found a whole new set of families with similar problems. this is going on across the country. >> michael: one of the things in the film that is the most heart wrenching is the fact that the children speak.
3:39 pm
it's so powerful. i want to take a listen some of their voices. >> i hear them in bed sometimes saying we skipped dinner because we need to feed our kids. sometimes i hear that, i cry. sometimes. >> i feel like it's all my fault they have to pay so much money. >> it's not your fault. you're a kid. be a kid. >> michael: how tell something that response from these children? >> these kids just speak from the heart, and they say what's going on very straightforwardly. it's very powerful. the country is saying often you know should we help these folks? are they worthy of being helped? but nick fish, the city commissioner in portland said it's so much cheap for help families than to let them fall through the cracks, and then have to pick them up later. you know, these kids, if they're
3:40 pm
going to be traumatized by this kind of poverty, then they're not going to be able to graduate from high school or go on to college and be contributing members of society. it's just so much better to help these families and get them back on their feet for the good of saturday. >> michael: yes, nick fish those numbers were totally compelling. outrageous statistic in your film that i think you're referring to that struck me. a homeless person costs americans on average $3,300 every month. in portland to prevent a person from coming homeless cost less than $200 a month. that's the loudest stream that comes out of your film. what are the policies for doing this? is there anything in action right now? are you trying to get this started with your film? >> we tried to make a film that was not be polarizing. there is this discussion going on how many billions are we going to cut. right at a time when families
3:41 pm
are in need how many billions are we going to cut, how many trillions are we going to cut. if you can turn around and put a human face on that equation, you talk about the human beings who are struggling, i'm hoping that by just seeing this film politician also decide something has to be done, and then they can come together and argue about what that something is. >> michael: one of those struggling americans that you profiled is a mother of four who works a minimum wage job, and on top of that she scraps metal and donates plasma on the side to make ends meet. does the question to increase minimum wage to $9, does that go enough to help her. >> in oregon the minimum wage is $8.80. that won't do much. this is a woman who went to college. she had a good job in the
3:42 pm
medical field. and then suddenly she has to get a job that's minimum wage and she can't support her family on that. that's what is happening across the country. the wages are not able to support a family of four or five. people are wondering how they're going keep themselves afloat. >> michael: i have to say that when you hear republicans polarizing or not however polarizing you want your film to be or not republicans are saying there is no way they can support a $9 an hour minimum wage. this woman has to give plasma every other day at $8.80 in oregon. something has to give here and i hope this film gets people going. it's beautiful and heartbreaking at times film. thank you, joe gantz for coming in on "the war room"." "american winter," please, please watch it. up next, when a bomb rips
3:43 pm
through birmingham killing four little girls brings those responsible to justice. he'll join us with that story right after the break. i think the number one thing young turks is that we're honest. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. [ piano plays ] troy polamalu's going deeper. ♪ ♪ and so is head & shoulders deep clean. [ male announcer ] with 7 benefits it goes deep to remove grease, gunk and flakes. deep. like me. [ male announcer ] head & shoulders deep clean for men. ♪ ♪
3:44 pm
3:45 pm
3:46 pm
>> michael: now we check in down the coast to see what the gang is going to talk about on a little show called --um --um "the young turks" with cenk uygur. >> cenk: right, that's it. that's it. so michael we've got lighter stuff. we've got serious stuff on a lighter know we have ba ba booy. you have to tell me later what i should ask him. on a serious note we will talk
3:47 pm
about a couple of things of how walmart funds charities for their own political purposes. that's an interesting story. then we have the injustices of mandatory minimums and how they wreck people's lives. they we'll have the palestinian director of "five broken cameras" who was detained at l.a.x. and was not allowed into the country even know he was going to the oscars, at least for a little while. we'll talk about that ordeal. >> michael: sounds like a great joe. everyone should watch "the young turks" with cheng uygur tonight. >> cenk: thanks. >> michael: it's been almost 50 years since a bomb ripped through a church in birmingham, alabama killing four young girls and injuring others. they were getting ready for sunday service when the bomb exploded. their murders were racially motivated act of terrorism decades before terrorism became a household world. even in a turbulent time the
3:48 pm
viciousness of this act shocked the nation. it was carried out by four men members of the klu klux klan splinter group who wanted to stop schools being integrated. unbelievably decades past before these terrorists were brought to justice. robert chandl. >> joy: ssdliss was sent toprison in 1977. doug jones was in birmingham. he was only nine when the bombing occurred, but three decades later the case was reopened. jones led the team that prosecuted and convicted the two surviving men responsible for that horrific crime. doug joins us now from birmingham. welcome to the war room, doug jones. >> thank you, michael, good to be here. >> michael: doug, you were only a kid when this tragedy happened. how did you ultimately get
3:49 pm
involved in the case. >> it was a fluke of circumstances, michael. there were joust a couple of things that happened to me over the course of my life and career, including the fact an i got to know one of the families members of the one of the girls who died. chris mcnair, whose daughter denise died. i got to know him through some things i did in college and through some political things. he was a democrat. i was a democrat, getting engaged in politics. in 1977 when bill backsly tried the chndliss trial i was in law school and i cut classes and sat through a trial. it was one of the most dramatic trials in american history. it was rivetting and emotional to watch. it's the kind of thing that stays with you. as you can imagine i didn't reopen this case, but when i learned about it, as i was becoming u.s. attorney it became important to me, it was just part of my story. >> michael: and by the time you got on to the case, only two of the four men suspected of carrying out the bombing were still alive.
3:50 pm
you herds surprising evidence from people close to these two defendants. tell us a little bit about that. >> well, there were--when we went into the case, cherry and planton were not the only surviving real suspects, but we went into it not knowing for sure. there were a lot of clansmen who were involved in this. i still believe there were clansmen who knew about it and certainly covered it up. we went into this thing with the idea that we could repackage the evidence and look at it in a modern light. that's one way. blanton he kept to himself. i won't call him a her mitt, but he was very quiet. lived alone. and cherry on the other hand was usually running his mouth a lot and was usually not telling the truth about what he was saying. we had two different kinds of defendants. just as the case became bubble that we had reopened this case
3:51 pm
our phone started ringing. bobby cherry's granddaughter called us. we had other people, four or five other who cherry made admissions to over the years. when you couple that with the lies that he told to the fbi it was pretty damning evidence. in the case of bobby blanton he kept to himself, and the significant thing about that was a tape recording made about a bug that was placed underneath his kitchen sink after he had gotten married to a girl who had been his alibi for many, many years. in that tape he admitted that weekend being part of the group that was planning the bomb, making the bomb. it was very damning piece of evidence that literally we uncovered, it had been sitting in the vault of the fbi office for many years not thinking it could ever be used in evidence. but fortunately walls changeed change and we were able to use it. and bring it into court.
3:52 pm
>> michael: was she a woman upset when she learned that the man in her kitchen was actually the guy who bombed the church? >> well, no, you have to remember her--in september time frame she and blanton were date dating at the time. in a statement he broke a date with her on friday night and they went out saturday. blanton was interviewed two weeks after the bombing he couldn't remember where they had gone. they had gone to different places, and he couldn't remember where. he could only remember that she was home by midnight because that was her curfew. then after the fbi said that his car had been seen at 2:00, di was true. there was evidence from a lady who had saw his car and identified chandliss in this
3:53 pm
car. they said he had time to plant this bomb, and he talks to jean and lo and behold he has his alibi. he didn't forget what they were doing. this tape, it was made after they were married. this is correlation in their marriage. blanton knew what the marital privilege meant and he knew the implications of marriages and divorces. in this tape they're talking. this is in june of 1964. and she, in fact, in one of the funnier moments she talks about talking to the fbi and saying, well, you know, it's what you were doing that friday night when you stood me up. i thought you stood me up to go out with somebody else. somebody named waylene, and you have to hear the southern voices and it was a funny moment. and it's still funny for those who listen to it. >> michael: so she's more upset at the time that she didn't care that he was going to plant the
3:54 pm
bombing. she cared that he was going out with waylene. >> that's exactly the way it came across. when she was talking about it, she said early in the statement was well, it's what you were doing that night when you stood me up. i thought you were going out with somebody else. interestingly, though, michael she also at the end of that segment of that tape she admits that she told a lie to the fbi about seeing someone that the fbi knew was involved in the clan. when she admitted on the tape that she lied to the fbi. her story that had kept him out of prison for so long, she didn't take the witness stand in his defense because the admission of the lie to the fbi destroyed her credibility. >> michael: what an amazing thing. you've been doing this so many years after it happened, it had to be difficult for people's memories. i don't remember what i had for lunch yesterday, i can only imagine what that's like. doug, let's talk for a moment
3:55 pm
about birmingham today. let's talk about the fact that it's the 50th anniversary coming up of the bombing. does america know this story well enough? >> i don't think so, michael. as you know, and you've seen my presentation before, i get called all the time to talk about the bombing case, which has to be part of the history. for our jury we had to talk about the history of birmingham. the story is simply fire hoses, dogs images in black and white. what is not known is how the city responded and how the ski tame could go. it was a gradual coming together. it's a living, diverse city that has made great strides over the years. still with work to go. i think every community in miracle still has work on the racial issue and civil rights. but it's a far far different say city than it was and the story that has not been told is the progress that birmingham has
3:56 pm
made over the years. fortunately our cases from jury that was both black and white young and old male and female, has helped to tell that story to a great extent. >> michael: you talk about that jury. did you ever have doubts about winning the case? >> well, michael my wife will tell you i always have doubts about my cases. i think good lawyers always have to have a hefty dose of skepticism about the case. we were nervous about the case going in. we probably felt better about the cherry case than we did about blanton even though we had that tape. you never know in any injury, jury, especially in a case like this, whether or not there is going to be something hid no one one of two of those jurors whether or not you'll got a conviction. we never believed we would get an acquittal, but we were worried about a hundred jury which is something that happens
3:57 pm
in racially charged cases. we tried to make this case not about history but about victims. that's at the end of the day what it really was, it was about victims. >> michael: tonight you are the first in what we're going to hopefully have in a series looking back 50 years later at the civil rights movement, looking back at some of the milestones and some of them are not 50 years but even more recent. we start with you today, doug jones, i think it's important that we remember as horrific as it was and the work that you did was so important to bringing justice. it's important to pay attention to what you say about birmingham today. they have come from the rubble of that bombing pretty far. thank you for sharing that part of that story. >> thank you. >> michael: doug jones from birmingham alabama telling a very unique story about the civil rights movement.
3:58 pm
we finished today with doug, and we promise to bring you more on those civil rights stories. someone is always here in our war room. check us out online. that's where you can link up to our twitter and facebook page, and check out our exclusive web extras. thank you for joining us here in "the war room," and we'll see you back here monday night. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ]
3:59 pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the next wave of italians has come to america, and the fiat 500 with beats audio is rockin' the block. the italian designed fiat 500. the bar harbor bake is really worth trying. [ male announcer ] get more during red lobster's lobsterfest. with the year's largest selection of mouth-watering lobster entrees. like our delicious lobster lover's dream, featuring two kinds of suc

The War Room
Current February 21, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Michael Shure and guests offer their perspectives on the political news of the day. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 12, Birmingham 10, Fbi 7, Blanton 5, Michael 5, Washington 5, Newport 5, America 5, Chuck Hagel 4, Portland 4, Oregon 3, Peter Fenn 3, Doug Jones 3, Michael Shure 2, United States 2, Obama 2, Jack Lew 2, Gillette 2, Fiat 2, Burwell 2
Network Current
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/21/2013